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Should You Live on Campus or off Campus

Should You Live on Campus or off Campus

Should You Live On Campus Or Off Campus

For many international students, looking for a place to live is as exciting as choosing the country and institution where you want to study. Although for some, it can be stressful, especially if there are a lot of choices to choose from. In many cases, international students would usually just have to choose between these two, living on-campus or off-campus.

In many institutions, most international students may be required to stay on campus during their first year. However, for those who chose an institution that does not have this rule where students can choose what they want and what they need, some considerations can help them choose. 

To help international students decide, here are the things to consider when choosing accommodation


In most on-campus accommodations, having another person to share your room with is normal. Thus, privacy may be an issue. Although there are institutions that also offer students room for only one person, this is rare, and most of the time, more expensive too. Also, in many cases, resident assistants, or an equivalent to those may usually supervise and check on the students. 

For those staying off-campus, one can say that privacy is not so much of an issue. Although some international students may also choose to share the rent with other students, unlike on-campus accommodations, there are no rules like curfew and supervision from other students or school staff.


When you live in a place on campus, it is already a given that you won’t have to commute every day, from your accommodation to your institution. Aside from not having to wake up early to prepare to commute, it is also cheaper. There are many alternatives or ways to get cheaper transportation costs. However, imagine if you are staying in another country for one to four years. Imagine how much you can save if you don’t have to commute every day from your accommodation to school. For example, in 2019, in California, for one year, students may have to spend around $1116, just for transportation costs.  

Campus Life

Both on-campus and off-campus students have a chance to experience their institution’s campus life. However, on-campus students can just experience more, especially late-night activities since they won’t have to commute after the event. On the other hand, off-campus students have more freedom in activities outside the campus. On-campus students, if outside their own campuses, may have to go back as fast to their on-campus accommodation due to curfew rules. 

Cost of Accommodation

The cost of accommodations differs, depending on the country, the institution, and the types of accommodation being offered to students. In many cases, it is usually cheaper to stay on campus, that is why competition to get into one is sometimes high.  However, if rental accommodation is shared between individuals, it can also be as cheap as on-campus accommodations. As part of your preparation to study abroad, it would be good to compare the prices between on-campus and off-campus accommodation. 

Have you already decided on whether to live on campus or off-campus? If not, then here’s another article from MSM Unify, titled A Guide for Accommodations for International Students. 


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